Saturday, March 17, 2018

CHUCK KOLB 03/17/2018

Shabbat Shalom - Parasha Vayikra - The Blood of the Lamb !!!

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Welcome to Vayikra (And He Called), our study of the portion of Torah that will be read in synagogues around the world this Shabbat (Saturday). This Shabbat is the last of four Parashiot that have special Torah readings in preparation for Pesach (Passover), which is only two short weeks away! It is called Shabbat HaChodesh (החודש שבת) Sabbath [of the] month, and a special reading is added from Exodus 12:1–20, which details the laws of Pesach (Passover). We know you will be blessed as you study this Torah portion with us.  Enjoy!

Last week, Parasha Pekudei was the final Torah portion in the book of Exodus. This Shabbat, we begin studying the Book of Leviticus.  In Hebrew, Leviticus is called Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called. 

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Parshat Vayikra 

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Weekly Torah Portion: Vayikra 

The book of Vayikra ("And He called... ") is nothing less than the book of life, for it describes G-d's gift to man, the inner workings of the Tabernacle/Temple, the Divine service at whose center are the korbanot offerings, whose proper performance enable us to maintain and perfect our delicate and oft challenged humanity. 

Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 - 5:26
Parashat Vayikra is read on Shabbat: 
Nisan 1, 5778 / March 17, 2018 (23:19) 
Published on Mar 14, 2018 - The Temple Institute 
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This Shabbat features the confluence of the beginning of a new weekly cycle of Torah readings, the book of Vayikra (Leviticus), and Rosh Chodesh (the New Month) of the month of Nisan. In this week's edition of Temple Talk, Yitzchak Reuven and Rabbi Chaim Richman explore the world of Leviticus and the enigmatic, misunderstood concept of the korbonot (the Temple Offerings), shedding much-needed light on what is considered to be the very heart of the Torah. Our hosts give a warm welcome to the month of Nisan, month of redemption and rebirth! Don't miss this fascinating episode of Temple Talk. 

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The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. Leviticus 1:1

Shabbat Shalom - Parasha Vayikra - The Blood of the Lamb !!!

Shabbat Shalom
Welcome to Vayikra (And He Called), our study of the portion of Torah that will be read in synagogues around the world this Shabbat (Saturday).
This Shabbat is the last of four Parashiot that have special Torah readings in preparation for Pesach (Passover), which is only two short weeks away!
It is called Shabbat HaChodesh (החודש שבת) Sabbath [of the] month, and a special reading is added from Exodus 12:1–20, which details the laws of Pesach (Passover).
We know you will be blessed as you study this Torah portion with us.  Enjoy!
VAYIKRA (And He Called)
Torah:  Leviticus 1:1–5:26;
Shabbat HaChodesh Haftarah:  Ezekiel 45:16–46:18;
Maftir (concluding reading):  Exodus 12:1–20;
Brit Chadashah:  Hebrews 9:1–28
“The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting.” (Leviticus 1:1)
Last week, Parasha Pekudei was the final Torah portion in the book of Exodus.
This Shabbat, we begin studying the Book of Leviticus.  In Hebrew, Leviticus is called Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called.

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man reads from the scroll of Esther.
The Relevance of Offerings
“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When any man of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock.  
"If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer it, a male without defect; he shall offer it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD.”  (Leviticus 1:2–3)
The Torah portion, Vayikra, presents the laws of korbanot (קָרְבָּנוֹת offerings), including the korban olah (קָרְבַּן עוֹלָה) or burnt offerings.
The Hebrew noun olah means goes up because the priest would burn the offerings on the wood of the altar, the aroma would go up to be accepted by the Lord.
The Hebrew word korbanot comes from the root word k-r-v (קרב), which means to be close (karov).  The sacrifices, once accepted by God, restore closeness and intimacy between Him and His people.
It is our iniquities and sins that separate us from God and prevent us from establishing or maintaining a close relationship with Him.
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

A korban olah could be a ram, male goat, bull, pigeon, or turtle dove.
Although some New Covenant Believers consider the laws in Leviticus irrelevant and obsolete, they remain relevant and are indeed extremely important.
For instance, without them we cannot grasp the concept of blood sacrifice to atone for sin.  That core concept in God’s plan for redemption helps us rightly understand the sacrificial death of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.
Attempting to understand Yeshua’s death on the Roman execution stake without comprehending the blood sacrifices is like trying to build a house without a foundation.  The home may last for a time but will not withstand the fierce storms without that solid base.
Likewise, we must have a solid foundation in the Word of God to rightly understand the Word of God, as well as successfully navigate through the storms of life.

A Jewish girl holds the Torah scroll, which is
covered by a Torah mantle and silver breastplate.

For some people, a guilty conscience over past sins causes them to be alienated from God, despite having received forgiveness. 
The blood sacrifice of Yeshua, however, was shed to restore us to right relationship with God and to completely cleanse us of any trace of a guilty conscience:
“How much more will the blood of Messiah who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”  (Hebrews9:14)
Despite this, some followers of Yeshua still struggle with guilt and condemnation, even though the Word of God promises that those who are in the Messiah are free:
“There is therefore no condemnation to those in Yeshua the Messiah who do not walk in the flesh.”  (Romans 8:1)
Just as the blood of the lamb had to be applied to the doorposts of our homes in Egypt, so must the blood of Yeshua be applied to our hearts, by faith, to wash us clean from every trace of guilty conscience and shame over our past sins.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”  (Hebrews 10:22
The pure waters refer to the mikvah, the ritual water immersion, which is symbolic of our new spiritual birth.

Blood on the doorpost
Only when our hearts have been cleaned (sprinkled with the blood of Yeshua) and our bodies immersed in the mikvah, can we have this full assurance of faith that allows us to draw near to God.
A guilty conscience over our past will separate us from intimacy with God, as well as with other Believers in the Body of Messiah.
Once we have drawn near to God (Hebrews 10:22), we are to "consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."  Instead of isolating ourselves, we are exhorted to meet with others where we can encourage others and be encouraged. (Hebrews 10:24–25)
Since each of us has been given the "ministry of reconciliation," we should be agents of healing and restoration through Messiah Yeshua.

Reading the Torah
The Blood of Sprinkling  
“He shall slay the young bull before the LORD; and Aaron’s sons the priests shall offer up the blood and sprinkle the blood around on the altar that is at the doorway of the tent of meeting.”  (Leviticus 1:5)
The Cohen (High Priest) not only sprinkled the blood around the altar, he dipped his finger in it and sprinkled it seven times before the Lord, in front of the veil.  (Leviticus 4:17)
Some suggest that, likewise, the blood of Yeshua, who was the High Priest (Cohen HaGadol) of the New Covenant, was also sprinkled before the Lord seven times:
  1. Yeshua perspired drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed to the Father:  “And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”  (Luke 22:44)
  2. He was struck in the face until it was “marred beyond recognition.”  (Isaiah 52:14)
  3. His back was scourged with a whip.  (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 27:26)
  4. The soldiers put a crown of thorns on His head.  (John 19:2)
  5. They plucked out His beard.  (Isaiah 50:6)
  6. They pierced His hands and feet.  (Psalm 22:16; Luke 24:39; John 20:27)
  7. They pierced His side with a spear and blood and water came out. (Psalm 22:14; John 19:34)

Yeshua Tempted in the Wilderness, by James Tissot
Satanic Counterfeit
Animal rights activists are likely appalled to read of all the sacrifices that the Torah requires.  
Some people, even Believers, are uncomfortable with the whole idea of blood sacrifices.  One of the reasons is our natural human aversion to blood.  Another reason is because of the association with evil satanic rituals.
Satanism observes its own system of blood sacrifices to the powers of darkness.
As well, Satan often attempts to twist and pervert the Word of God, using it for his own evil purposes.  Luke 4 gives us an example of how he did this with Yeshua when He was tested in the wilderness.
Satan misleads by substituting wicked counterfeits for the holy things of God, such as blood sacrifices.
People of various pagan religions have practiced the ritual killing of animals to appease their false gods.  Many cultures used animal sacrifice in purification ceremonies.  Some of these include (in addition to the Hebrews): Greeks, Romans, Ancient Egyptians, Aztecs and Yoruba.
Is animal sacrifice still practiced today?  Not currently in Judaism, as the korbanot cannot be offered without the Temple.  And there has not been a Temple for nearly 2,000 years.
However, outside of Judaism, it is practiced.  Followers of Santeria (a religion of Caribbean origin) to this day offer up some sacrificial animals to cure the sick or give thanks to their god (Orisa) as part of their ritual activities.
There are also some Christians in certain Greek villages who, in a practice called kourbània, sacrifice animals to Orthodox saints.

Carrying the Torah at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.
Human Sacrifice
Another Satanic counterfeit to God’s sacrificial system is found in some cultures and religions in which human beings were sacrificed as a way of giving their very best to their god.
In times of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, or volcanic eruptions, which have historically been understood as evidence of their deity’s anger or displeasure, other cultures have offered up human sacrifice in the hopes of appeasing the wrath of their gods.
Even in the West, worshipers of Satan and his demonic entities have been performing human blood sacrifice since ancient times, so it is likely that this practice continues to this very day, especially within secret communities just outside of mainstream culture.
Judaism, on the other hand, abhors the concept of human sacrifice, because it is abhorrent to God, as it is written:  “Never give your children as sacrifices to the god Molech.  If you do, you are dishonoring the name of your God.  I am YHVH.”  (Leviticus 18:21)
It is for this reason that most Jewish people find it so difficult to believe in Yeshua—human sacrifice has always been associated with paganism and is strictly forbidden.

Men gather to worship God at the Western (Wailing) Wall.  On close
inspection, at least 20 Torah scrolls are either being carried or are placed
on tables in the above photo.
The One True God completely forbade His people from pagan worship customs and especially the practice of human sacrifice:
“You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates.  They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:31)
Knowing that God detests human sacrifice, especially of a son or daughter at the hand of a parent, the Jewish people naturally assume that our God would never allow someone to die a substitutionary death the way animals do.
This is a significant stumbling block to receiving salvation through Yeshua the Messiah for the Jewish People.  However, the ancient prophet Isaiah revealed that long ago God planned to lay all of our sins and iniquities upon the Messiah:
“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.  
"All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”  (Isaiah 53:5–6)

Women pray in the Women's Section of the Western Wall
God did not intend for His korbanot to be performed by a people who were determined to live lawless lives. They were never a substitution for living in fellowship with Him and being right-hearted.
Likewise, Yeshua’s sacrifice was meant to restore fellowship with our Father upon a person seeking to draw near to Him, sincerely repenting of their sins, and accepting the sacrifice as a free gift on their behalf.
The blood of the Lamb of God (Yeshua) takes away the sins of those who believe in who He is, what He did, turn from their sin, and follow Him.
God does not delight in the sacrifice but in the right heart of the person who offers it.
All of the Hebrew prophets warned the people that offering sacrifices without returning to the principles of righteousness our God laid out for us in His Word would be in vain.
Ultimately, what God requires of each one of us is to practice justice, mercy and humility toward God and man.
“It has been told to you, O man, what is good, and what the LORD does require of you: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”  (Micah 6:8)
And Yeshua, who has set us free from the evil master of sin through His death and resurrection, has given us the power to be just, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
As we enter the Passover season, let us prepare our hearts and lives to put away old sins and guilt and embrace the forgiveness and freedom that Yeshua offers us in Him.
And let us proclaim His love to all those who are seeking for Him but not yet finding Him.
"Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens."  (Psalm 68:34)
Shabbat Shalom from the Entire Bibles For Israel Family!

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